Increasing Dependence and Insecurity

I realize that my posts convey the fact that Kate is increasingly dependent on me, but a couple of things recently illustrate that more strongly than before. One of those occurred while we were in North Carolina. At the hotel yesterday morning she didn’t want me to leave her. I don’t mean leave the room. She didn’t want me to leave her bedside as she got up and as she dressed. I moved a couple of times, and she reacted quickly telling me not to leave. She wanted and needed my help with everything. One might think that is a typical reaction for her since she is normally groggy when she wakes up, but this was the first time I noticed a sense of insecurity if I left her to get ready by herself.

I saw the same kind of insecurity the night before when we were standing around the theater lobby after the show. I was talking with someone when someone else stood between Kate and me. In a few minutes, I saw that she was looking around for me with that same sense of insecurity. She asked the friends we had come with to the show where I was. I was standing beside the man who said, “He’s right here.” She had a look of relief on her face.

An incident yesterday afternoon was more surprising to me. I had a routine doctor’s appointment and took Kate with me as I have done for the past couple of years. This visit was a little different than previous ones in that I had a number of questions to ask the doctor. Given Kate’s dependence on me, I have been thinking much more about my own health. I recognize how important it is for me to stay healthy. For most of my adult life staying healthy and in good physical shape has been important to me, but now it is essential.

Thus, I was more attentive as the doctor went through my lab report. I asked more questions than usual. I was especially interested in my weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Since my last appointment, I have not exercised nearly as much as I had been. Not only that but we have eaten more desserts on a regular basis than we used to. I have also felt more stress. I talked to the doctor about my self-diagnosis of a pinched nerve in my hip. We discussed the likely source of the problem and stretching exercises that might help that. Of course, the problem is gone now, but it is the kind of thing that could happen again if I return to my regular exercise routine.

I am glad to report that all my lab results, though not as good as last visit, were in line with my past history. The only difference was my platelet count. It was fine but significantly lower than last time. That was obviously the result of my having donated platelets the afternoon before my labs the next morning. I had gained two pounds but was right in line with my personal goal. My blood pressure was also good.

As Kate and I left the doctor’s office, I could see that she looked worried. I asked if she were all right. She went on to explain that she had been thinking about what would happen to her if something happened to me. She couldn’t imagine what she would do. I told her I was going to make sure that I stay in good shape and that I would be able to take care of anything she needed. She seemed relieved, and we didn’t say anything more. I was struck, however, by how well she understood the potential problem for her should anything happen to me. It made me think of a conversation we had a few nights ago. She said, “Thank you for everything that you do for me. I couldn’t live without you.” I think the doctor’s visit heightened her sense of dependence and insecurity. I don’t think she understood much of what the doctor and I talked about, but she detected a tone of seriousness that shook her.

One other incident occurred just this morning. Kate started to get out of bed about 4:20. I asked if she needed to go to the bathroom. She did and asked where it is. I told her I would show her. She needed my help getting on her feet and seemed a bit unsteady. I held her hand and walked her to the toilet. She seemed so needy, like someone much older than she is. Of course, some of this goes along with her grogginess upon waking, but it seems like more than that to me. I continue to feel that her lack of exercise is creating a problem. Increasingly, she has difficulty getting out of a chair or into and out of the car. During the winter, I may need to think about museum outings that she won’t think of as exercise. We may also be reaching a time when I could get her to walk around the house. I don’t want to see her wheel-chair bound anytime soon, but even if we can avoid that her dependence will continue to increase as illustrated by the events above.

As I was about to add this post to the blog, I heard Kate say, “Hello.” I looked up and saw her standing in the doorway to the family  room. I walked over to her. She said, “Is anyone else here besides you and me?” I said, “No.” She said, “Good.” I’m not exactly sure what prompts this, but this is something she asks periodically. I suspect she may feel she has some obligation as a hostess if there is someone else with us. Then she asked me if she could go back to bed. I told her it was still early (8:20), and she could sleep a little longer. She got back in bed, and I pulled the covers over her. She said, “You’re the best husband.” I took note of the fact that she remembered that I am her husband. That reminds me of something else. I don’t recall her asking my name or anyone else’s  yesterday.

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